Braided channels : documentary voice from an interdiscplinary, cross-media, and practitioners's perspective

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Voice is a concept that is a metaphoric proxy for authorship in a wide range of areas of human creativity. In the area of documentary filmmaking, Bill Nichols’ conception of voice has been pre-eminent, dating from a 1983 essay ‘The Voice of Documentary’ that has been frequently republished since. Nichols’ essay forms the basis of his even more widely quoted taxonomy of documentary forms. This dissertation argues that Nichols’ conception of documentary voice requires revision to take account of shifts in: the forms of documentary and their relation to other cultural formations; the surrounding (cross) cultural politics; and the way that the concept of ‘voice’ appears when viewed from the perspective of a reflective practitioner rather than from that of a media studies theorist. The work combines elements of both thesis and exegesis to develop a vocabulary of voice to account for the relationship between the voice of the documentary filmmaker and other categories including subjects, audiences and broadcasters. In particular the categories of the ventriloquic, the dialogic and the choric are interrogated and their application considered both in relation to the candidate’s work and more widely. [PRODUCTION NOTE: DVD can be consulted at UTS Library]
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